Genghis Khan is one of the most famous rulers and conquerors in history. He is known for uniting nomadic Mongol tribes and leading a series of conquests in the early 13th century that transformed the Mongolian Empire into the largest contiguous land empire that ever existed. You probably learned a thing or two about Genghis Khan in school, but these interesting facts might still surprise you.
We Don’t Know How Genghis Khan Looked Like
There are lots of paintings, drawings, and sculptures of Genghis Khan out there. However, it is highly unlikely they are accurate. There is no surviving artwork of Khan from his lifetime, and the descriptions of his appearance are often contradictory.
He Was Tolerant of Other Religions
Despite stretching the borders of the Mongolian Empire from the Sea of Japan to Eastern Europe, Genghis Khan never looked to impose his religious beliefs on others. Under his rule, all residents of the Mongolian Empire could freely follow their religion while making places of worship exempt from tax.
He Created an Efficient Postal System
Genghis Khan put in place a highly efficient postal system for the period. Called “Yam,” it consisted of a network of stations and checkpoints throughout the empire. This allowed messengers to take a rest or get a fresh horse, enabling them to cover great distances in a short amount of time.
No One Knows How He Died or Where He Was Buried
Among the biggest mysteries surrounding Genghis Khan is the cause of his death and his final resting place. According to some accounts, he died after falling from a horse, while others attribute his death to illness or wounds from a fight. After his death, his trusted generals went through great effort to hide his grave, even murdering those whom they didn’t trust to keep the location secret.